Malaysia's ringgit scaled a near one-month peak on Monday and equities advanced more than half a percent after the government lifted interstate and international travel restrictions, while most other Asian currencies edged higher.
Singapore dollar firmed 0.2% to hit its highest in two weeks, while equities touched a near two-month peak after the government opened its borders to more countries for quarantine-free travel.
Meanwhile, investors will be eyeing Singapore's advanced third-quarter economic growth data expected later in the week, with analysts at OCBC Bank expecting a moderation from second-quarter's 14.7% year-on-year growth.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore is likely to keep its monetary policy settings unchanged at this juncture, but may signal a need for recalibration in 2022, the OCBC analysts said in a note.
Meanwhile, a soft US payrolls figure last week did little to alter market expectations of tapering of bond purchases by the US Federal Reserve, pressuring risk-sensitive Asian markets as the US dollar firmed and Treasury yields jumped.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six major currencies, edged higher to 94.139, while the 10-year benchmark yields hit multi-month highs on expectations of the Fed's tapering plans.
Investors now await US September inflation data on Wednesday, which, according to analysts at Mizuho bank, "will be a key trigger for bond markets to adjust positions just ahead of Federal Open Market Committee's minutes."
In Malaysia, the ringgit added 0.2% to scale 4.167 per US dollar, its highest since Sept. 17, while equities advanced as much as 0.7% and were on course to gain for a fifth consecutive session.
Malaysia lifted interstate and international travel restrictions for residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19 starting Monday, as the country achieved its target of inoculating 90% of its adult population.
The Thai baht firmed by about 0.3% while stocks were up 0.4% to scale their highest in more than four weeks. The Indonesian rupiah also edged higher.
Among the regional equity markets, Philippine stocks surged 2.7% for their biggest intraday jump since mid-August, rallying after two consecutive sessions of declines, while the peso slipped 0.3%.
Markets in South Korea, and Taiwan were closed for a holiday.